mrs patrick

Mrs Patrick Campbell

[kam-buhl, kam-uhl]
Mrs Patrick Campbell (February 9, 1865April 9, 1940) was one of the most successful British stage actresses of her generation.

Early life and marriages

Campbell was born Beatrice Stella Tanner in Kensington, London, to John Tanner and Maria Luigia Giovanna, daughter of Count Angelo Romanini. She studied for a short time at the Guildhall School of Music.

Her first marriage, from which she took the name by which she is generally known, produced two children, Beo and Stella, and ended with the death of her first husband in the Boer War in 1900.

Fourteen years later, Campbell became the second wife of George Cornwallis-West, a dashing writer and soldier previously married to Jennie Jerome, the mother of Winston Churchill.

Stage career

She was well-known as an amateur before she made her stage debut in 1888 at the Alexandra Theatre, Liverpool, four years after her marriage to Patrick Campbell. In March, 1890, she appeared in London at the Adelphi, where she afterward played again in 1891–93. She became successful as a result of starring in Sir Arthur Wing Pinero's play, The Second Mrs Tanqueray, in 1893, at St. James's Theatre where she also appeared in 1894 in The Masqueraders. As Kate Cloud in John-a-Dreams, produced by Beerbohm Tree at the Haymarket in 1894, she made another success, and again as Agnes in The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith at the Garrick (1895). Among her other performances were those in Fédora (1895), Little Eyolf (1896), and her notable performances with Forbes-Robertson at the Lyceum in the rôles of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Ophelia in Hamlet, and Lady Macbeth (1895–98) in the Scottish play. Despite her marriage, she continued to use "Mrs Patrick Campbell" as her stage name.

In 1900, Campbell made her debut performance on Broadway in New York City in Magda, a marked success. Subsequent Broadway roles included The Joy of Living (1902), as Melisande to the Pelleas of Sarah Bernhardt in Pelléas et Mélisande (1904), The Whirlwind and The Bondman (1906), Hedda Gabler (1907), The Thunderbolt (1908), Lady Patricia (1911), Bella Donna (1911), and Shaw's Pygmalion (1914). She would return to perform there on a number of occasions until 1930.

In 1914, she played Eliza Doolittle in the original production of Shaw's Pygmalion; though much too old for the part at 49, she was the obvious choice, being by far the biggest name on the London stage, and Shaw would have seen it no other way since he wrote the play for her in particular.

In her later years, Campbell made notable appearances in motion pictures, including One More River (1934), Riptide (1934), and Crime and Punishment (1935).


She died on April 9, 1940 in Pau, France, at age 75.


A note book belonging to Mrs Patrick Campbell is housed at the University of Birmingham Special Collections department.

See also

  • My Life And Some Letters by Mrs Patrick Campbell.
  • Walkley, Drama and Life (London, 1907)
  • Shaw, Dramatic Opinions (London, 1907)
  • Archer, The Theatrical World (London, 1897)
  • Mrs. Pat: The Life of Mrs. Patrick Campbell by Margot Peter (New York, 1984)


External links

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